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Mike Hayden

Mike Hayden

Gen. Michael Hayden is a former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency. He can be reached at

Articles by Mike Hayden

Former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the NSA phone-snooping program's existence in 2013, spawning a massive public backlash that forced Congress to curtail the program. (Associated Press)

Edward Snowden doesn’t deserve a pardon

With last week's premiere of conspiracy-weaving director Oliver Stone's "Snowden," acolytes and supporters of the former National Security Agency contractor are beating the drum for pardon, clemency or at least a sweetheart pretrial plea bargain to prepare for his triumphal return home. Published September 21, 2016

As the Soviet satellite Sputnik orbited the Earth in 1957, it launched a U.S. call for science education. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Cyberthreat reaction lacks resolve for STEM education

Dramatic headlines about cyberthreats are filling the pages of our newspapers. Calls for action are heard daily. So far, though, we have not evidenced the determination and resolve with which we faced the Sputnik challenge. Published August 4, 2016

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama, right, smiles at former defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, speaking left, as he stands with the 1985 Super Bowl XX Champions Chicago Bears football team during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Buddy Ryan, who coached two defenses that won Super Bowl titles and whose twin sons Rex and Rob have been successful NFL coaches, died Tuesday, June 28, 2016. He was 82. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Intel, Obama and walking away from the red line in Syria

I recently joined other former security officials to urge the United States government to be generous to Syrian and other refugees driven from their homes by today's conflicts. We brought out the usual arguments: We need to live up to our historical heritage as a refuge and, besides, failing to provide haven would prolong the kind of global disorder that ultimately makes us all less safe. Published June 28, 2016

Michael Hayden (Associated Press) ** FILE **

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Americans still believe in intelligence community

It's been six months since I've appeared in these pages. That gap hasn't been about a boycott or a contract dispute. Actually, The Washington Times has been rather generous, giving me that time to finish a book, get it cleared through the intelligence community review process and then endure an aggressive countrywide book tour organized by my publisher, Penguin. Published May 9, 2016

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, right, with CIA Director John Brennan, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on cyber threats. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Politicization of intelligence on Islamic State fight

Politicization -- the shading of analysis to fit prevailing policy or politics -- is the harshest criticism one can make of an intelligence organization. It strikes beyond questions of competence to the fundamental ethic of the enterprise, which is, or should be, truth telling. Published September 24, 2015

Despite the saga over Hillary Clinton's emails, Donald Trump's sprint to front-runner status in the Republican presidential race and some interesting pennant races, the news this summer has never drifted far from President Obama's nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Associated Press)

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Iran nuclear deal sparks anger of self-preservation

Despite the saga over Hillary Clinton's emails, Donald Trump's sprint to front-runner status in the Republican presidential race and some interesting pennant races, the news this summer has never drifted far from the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Published September 8, 2015

President Obama says the people criticizing the Iran nuclear deal are the same people who rushed into war with Iraq. (AP Photo)

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Obama sells Iran nuclear deal different from promise to Congress

The hot topic around the Capital for the past 10 days has been the Iran nuclear deal. First, we've seen the Obama administration's hard sell. President Obama last week was knowledgeable, confident and combative in several lengthy soliloquies on the deal before the press corps in the East Room. He was also dismissive and delegitimizing of any opposition. Published July 22, 2015

Former Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta (Associated Press) **FILE**

MICHAEL HAYDEN: OPM security breach blame belongs to U.S., not China

Jimmie Breslin borrowed a line from manager Casey Stengel to title his chronicle of the worst team in baseball history, the 1962 Mets. Stengel plaintively asked, "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" Given recent events, Americans could be asking the same question about their government's cyber performance. Published June 24, 2015